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Club ‘boxing’ clever over funding blow

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Club ‘boxing’ clever over funding blow thumbnailFlashback! Ballymena’s Hollywood movie superstar, Liam Neeson, was a member of All Saints’ Boxing Club and has been back to the club many times. This picture of Liam with some o0f the club’s young stars was taken about 25 years ago. ‘ GB47969 p3

HOLLYWOOD star Liam Neeson's former boxing club has been dealt a blow, after failing to attract 'matched' funding for a community boxing and fitness academy.
The club, where Mr Neeson trained as a boy, was awarded £350,000 through the former Ballymena Borough Council's Enabling Scheme to develop a single story academy at the Ballymena North site.
However, the total cost of the project was £714,432 and as a condition of the council's offer, the club was required to provide match funding of £364,432.
Despite applications to various funding bodies and requests for private investment the match funding continues to be a "stumbling block to progress."
The only success was ann application to Sport NI for £100,000.
North Antrim DUP MLA Paul Frew organised a visit by Communities Minister, Paul Givan, to the current premises owned by All Saints Parish, in a bid to encourage him to fund the scheme.
However Mr Givan concluded his Department did not fund any boxing facilities to the level that would be required to deliver the current proposal.
He did open the door to negotiations with his officials about possible funding, but it would not be more than around £50,000.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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